Long to reign over us

September 9, 2015

The Queen will break her great-great grandmother’s record as Britain’s longest serving sovereign today:

Queen Elizabeth II passes the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria today who reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

But Queen Victoria’s reign was three years shorter in New Zealand – she technically only became our ruler when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed – meaning Queen Elizabeth actually became New Zealand’s longest-reigning monarch back in 2013. . . 

How long she’s served is largely a matter of luck.

How well she’s served is a credit to her.

It’s also a reflection on her dedication to the job which comes with many privileges but is extremely demanding both because of and in spite of that.

 

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A loyal toast

June 4, 2012

AT the first wedding I went to, in the early 1970s, the first toast was the loyal (or was it Loyal?) one to the Queen, after which is was permissible to smoke.

Those were the days when we also stood for the National Anthem at the movies and people like my mother who had never been to Britain called it Home.

How things have changed since then, and as Statistics NZ shows, throughout the 60 years of Elizabeth II’s reign:

Deputy Government Statistician Dallas Welch says New Zealand’s population has changed markedly.

“Back in 1952, New Zealand broke through the 2 million population barrier and 60 years on, that’s more than doubled to 4.4 million. Coincidentally, the number of dairy cows has also more than doubled from less than 3 million, to over 6 million.”

Mrs Welch said immigration patterns have also changed.

“When the Queen first took the throne, more than half of our immigrants came from the United Kingdom.

Today that’s more like 17 percent, although in the past year, more people still moved here from the UK than from any other place.

“In trade, the Old Country used to contribute about two-thirds of our export earnings. Last year, 3 percent of our export earnings came from the UK.”

 And as for making a nice cup of tea, in 1952 an electric kettle cost 59 shillings and 6 pence (about $164 in today’s terms) and a lb (500g) pack of tea was 6 shillings and 4 pence (about $16.60). Today a kettle costs about $44 on average, and a box of 100 teabags (about 200g of tea) costs about $4.46.

This weekend Britain has been celebrating the Queen’s jubilee in style.

Celebrations here will be a lot more low-key and I suspect most people will spend little if any time contemplating the reason for today’s holiday.

The distance between New Zealand and Britain has increased in the last 60 years and the attachment to royalty has weakened.

But whatever we might think about the monarchy as an institution, the woman currently wearing the crown can not be criticised for her dedication to duty in the 60 years since she was precipitously thrust into the role of Queen following the sudden death of her father.

In light of that, I raise an electronic glass and offer a toast to Her Majesty.


Quote of the day

January 30, 2012

“I have to be seen to be believed.” Queen Elizabeth II


April 21 in history

April 21, 2011

On April 21:

753 BC – Romulus and Remus founded Rome (traditional date).

 

43 BC Battle of Mutina: Mark Antony was again defeated in battle by Aulus Hirtius, who was killed.

M Antonius.jpg 

1509  Henry VIII ascended the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.

1519 Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz.

1651 Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Ceylon, was born.

1671 John Law, Scottish economist, was born  (d. 1729) .

1729 Catherine II of Russia, known as ‘Catherine the Great’, was born  (d. 1796) .

1792 Tiradentes, a revolutionary leading a movement for Brazil’s independence, was hung, drawn and quartered.

Figueiredo-MHN-Tiradentes.jpg

1809 Two Austrian army corps were driven from Landshut by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France as two French corps to the north held off the main Austrian army on the first day of the Battle of Eckmühl.

Echmühl.jpg

1816  Charlotte Brontë, English author, was born  (d. 1855) .

1836 Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto – Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeated troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

The Battle of San Jacinto (1895).jpg

1838 John Muir, Scottish environmentalist, was born (d. 1914) .

1863 Bahá’u’lláh, considered the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, declared his mission as “He whom God shall make manifest“.

 

1894 Norway formally adopted the Krag-Jørgensen rifle as the main arm of its armed forces, a weapon that would remain in service for almost 50 years.

Norwegian K-J M1912 closeup.png

1898 Spanish-American War: The U.S. Congress, recognised that a state of war existed between the United States and Spain.

1915 Anthony Quinn, Mexican-born American actor, was born (2001) .

1918 World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron”, was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme.

 

1922 The first Aggie Muster was held as a remembrance for fellow Aggies who had died in the previous year.

 

1923 John Mortimer, English barrister and writer, was born (d. 2009) .

Rumpole.png

1926  Queen Elizabeth II was born.

Head and shoulders portrait of a thoughtful-looking toddler with curly, fair hair 

1942 World War II: The most famous (and first international) Aggie Muster was held on the Philippine island of Corregidor, by Brigadier General George F. Moore (with 25 fellow Aggies who are under his command), while 1.8 million pounds of shells pounded the island over a 5 hour attack.

 

1952 Secretarys’ Day (now Administrative Professionals’ Day) was first celebrated.

1959 Robert Smith, British musician (The Cure), was born.

1960 Brasília, Brazil’s capital, was officially inaugurated. At 9:30 am the Three Powers of the Republic were simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.

1960 – Founding of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith in Washington, D.C.

1961 The first Golden Shears contest was held – won by Ivan Bowen.

First Golden Shears competition

 1962 The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opened – the first World’s Fair in the United States since World War II.

 

1963 The Universal House of Justice of the Bahá’í Faith was elected for the first time.

 

1964 A Transit-5bn satellite failed to reach orbit after launch; as it re-entered the atmosphere, 2.1 pounds of radioactive plutonium in its SNAP RTG power source was widely dispersed.

 

1965 The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair opened for its second and final season.

1966  Rastafari movement: Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visited Jamaica, an event now celebrated as Grounation Day.

1967  A few days before the general election in Greece, Colonel George Papadopoulos led a coup d’état, establishing a military regime that lasted for seven years.

1970 The Hutt River Province Principality seceded from Australia.

Hutt River Flag.jpg Hutt River Seal.jpg

1975  Vietnam War: President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu fled Saigon, as Xuan Loc, the last South Vietnamese outpost blocking a direct North Vietnamese assault on Saigon, fell.

 

1987 Tamil Tigers were blamed for a car bomb that exploded in Colombo, killing 106 people.

Ltte emblem.jpg

1989 – Tiananmen Square Protests: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.

 

1993 – The Supreme Court in La Paz, Bolivia, sentenced former dictator Luis Garcia Meza to 30 years in jail without parole for murder, theft, fraud and violating the constitution.

1994 – The first discoveries of extrasolar planets were announced by astronomer Alexander Wolszczan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


April 21 in history

April 21, 2010

On April 21:

753 BC – Romulus and Remus founded Rome (traditional date).

 

43 BC Battle of Mutina: Mark Antony was again defeated in battle by Aulus Hirtius, who was killed.

M Antonius.jpg 

1509  Henry VIII ascended the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.

1519 Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz.

1651 Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Ceylon, was born.

1671 John Law, Scottish economist, was born.

1729 Catherine II of Russia, known as ‘Catherine the Great’, was born.

1792 Tiradentes, a revolutionary leading a movement for Brazil’s independence, was hung, drawn and quartered.

Figueiredo-MHN-Tiradentes.jpg

1809 Two Austrian army corps were driven from Landshut by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France as two French corps to the north held off the main Austrian army on the first day of the Battle of Eckmühl.

Echmühl.jpg

1816  Charlotte Brontë, English author, was born.

1836 Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto – Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeated troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

The Battle of San Jacinto (1895).jpg

1838 John Muir, Scottish environmentalist, was born.

1863 Bahá’u’lláh, considered the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, declared his mission as “He whom God shall make manifest“.

 

1894 Norway formally adopted the Krag-Jørgensen rifle as the main arm of its armed forces, a weapon that would remain in service for almost 50 years.

Norwegian K-J M1912 closeup.png

1898 Spanish-American War: The U.S. Congress, recognised that a state of war existed between the United States and Spain.

1915 Anthony Quinn, Mexican-born American actor, was born.

1918 World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron”, was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme.

 

1922 The first Aggie Muster was held as a remembrance for fellow Aggies who had died in the previous year.

 

1923 John Mortimer, English barrister and writer, was born.

Rumpole.png

1926  Queen Elizabeth II was born.

Head and shoulders portrait of a thoughtful-looking toddler with curly, fair hair 

1942 World War II: The most famous (and first international) Aggie Muster was held on the Philippine island of Corregidor, by Brigadier General George F. Moore (with 25 fellow Aggies who are under his command), while 1.8 million pounds of shells pounded the island over a 5 hour attack.

 

1952 Secretarys’ Day (now Administrative Professionals’ Day) was first celebrated.

1959 Robert Smith, British musician (The Cure), was born.

1960 Brasília, Brazil’s capital, was officially inaugurated. At 9:30 am the Three Powers of the Republic were simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.

1960 – Founding of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith in Washington, D.C.

1961 The first Golden Shears contest was held – won by Ivan Bowen.

First Golden Shears competition

 1962 The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opened – the first World’s Fair in the United States since World War II.

 

1963 The Universal House of Justice of the Bahá’í Faith was elected for the first time.

 

1964 A Transit-5bn satellite failed to reach orbit after launch; as it re-entered the atmosphere, 2.1 pounds of radioactive plutonium in its SNAP RTG power source was widely dispersed.

 

1965 The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair opened for its second and final season.

1966  Rastafari movement: Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visited Jamaica, an event now celebrated as Grounation Day.

1967  A few days before the general election in Greece, Colonel George Papadopoulos led a coup d’état, establishing a military regime that lasted for seven years.

1970 The Hutt River Province Principality seceded from Australia.

Hutt River Flag.jpg Hutt River Seal.jpg

1975  Vietnam War: President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu fled Saigon, as Xuan Loc, the last South Vietnamese outpost blocking a direct North Vietnamese assault on Saigon, fell.

 

1987 Tamil Tigers were blamed for a car bomb that exploded in Colombo, killing 106 people.

Ltte emblem.jpg

1989 – Tiananmen Square Protests: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.

 

1993 – The Supreme Court in La Paz, Bolivia, sentenced former dictator Luis Garcia Meza to 30 years in jail without parole for murder, theft, fraud and violating the constitution.

1994 – The first discoveries of extrasolar planets were announced by astronomer Alexander Wolszczan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Tuesday’s answers

March 2, 2010

Monday’s questions were:

 1. Who was the Greek goddess of  civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, craft, justice and skill?

2. What are the female seeds of humulus lupulus called?

3. What is a pantisocracy?

4. What did/do Lewis Caroll, Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro, H.G. Wells, Cole Porter, Pele, Nietzsche, and Queen Elizabeth II have in common?

5. What is a terremoto?

Inventory 2 gets a point for lateral thinking.

Andrei got four right and a bonus for the albatross.

David got two right, gets the quarter point he sought for pedantry, a bonus for teaching me something and another bonus for restraint over #3.

Paul got four correct and while his answer to #4 wasn’t the one I was seeking it was right.

Gravedoger got two right and a bonus for lateral thinking for his answer to #3.

PDM gets a consolation long-distance bonus.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Monday’s quiz

March 1, 2010

 1. Who was the Greek goddess of  civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, craft, justice and skill?

2. What are the female seeds of humulus lupulus called?

3. What is a pantisocracy?

4. What did/do Lewis Caroll, Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro, H.G. Wells, Cole Porter, Pele, Nietzsche, and Queen Elizabeth II have in common?

5. What is a terremoto?


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